Painting in the tropics

Meyer, Angela Mary (2015) Painting in the tropics. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

PDF (Thesis)
Download (7MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


This thesis demonstrates a painted vision of the tropics as a space desirable and strange, redolent of fear and longing, bewilderment and comfort. Three painters from the French tradition provide the foundation of the research: Matisse, who concentrated on the formal element of its physical appearance; Gauguin, who immersed himself in an experiential lived involvement; and Henri Rousseau, who dreamed only of the tropics via his imagination. Local Far North Queensland painters, including Ray Crooke, Margaret Olley, Ian Smith, Helen Wiltshire, James Baines, Claudine Marzik, Laurine Field, Claire Souter and Amanda Feher, demonstrate a continued fascination with the tropics. These painters allow us to revisit the vision of the French painters Matisse, Gauguin and Rousseau. Their experiences display the nuances of the wet tropic landscape by what they see as well as the projection of their inner thoughts. Crooke's attention focuses on the forms of the vegetation and the peopled world within it, while Olley responds to the mildew and colour. Smith, Wiltshire and Baines best describe the negative impact of urban stresses to tropical nature, in which the tropical habitat is seen as threatened by urban expansion. Marzik and Field bring insight into the sensory components of the tropics through its texture and spiritual dimensions, while Souter and Feher utilise the tropical landscape for its motifs and symbols. As a response to the French painters' vision of the tropical world and the case study surveys, I have painted suites of work that reflect the tropical experience. The process of reflection considers the objects of the external physical world combined with imagination. My paintings participate in the tropical vision by expressing the characteristics that shape the imagery, and by the personal journey described within them. The paintings image the tropics using devices of portraiture, landscape and mythological narrative, expressed in the lexicon of postmodern painting.

Item ID: 42928
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: art criticism; Far North Queensland; fine art; Gauguin; habitat; Henri Rousseau; landscapes; Matisse; painters; painting; portraiture; postmodern; Queensland; tropical art; tropical artists; tropics
Related URLs:
Additional Information:

Publications arising from this thesis are available from the Related URLs field. The publications are:

Meyer, Angela, and Naylor, Stephen (2013) The paradise problem: painted experience. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 12 (2). pp. 30-40.

Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2016 04:10
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting) @ 50%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1901 Art Theory and Criticism > 190101 Art Criticism @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1750
Last 12 Months: 41
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page